ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Nob Hill residents and one of its businesses are at odds over growlers, not bears or empty stomachs but the glass jugs beer brewers fill and refill for customers to take home.
The neighborhood wants no part of growling, and now Tractor Brewing has found out the hard way by being cited on Wednesday for violating a city ordinance.
Tractor manager David Forster said he had no idea they were breaking the law.
"It was a bummer," Forster said. "Yesterday alone we had like 15 people come in to fill their growlers that we had to turn away.
"It's just unfortunate people can't take their beer home with them right now."
Tractor brews its beer in Los Lunas but pours at its 6-month-old beer bar on Central Avenue in Nob Hill.
The City Council, however, heeded neighborhood concerns about drunks and liquor stores banning liquor-to-go sales there in 1987 and again in 2007.
And while Tractor is not a liquor store, letting patrons leave with beer-fill bottles and jugs fits the definition under the ordinance.
Forster said the ban is eating into his sales, and customers have their complaints.
"I think Nob hill is evolving, and the neighborhood should re-evaluate their policies so we can support local brew, local music and local business," customer Ryan Bergsmith said.
The city continues to side with residents.
"The neighborhood is strongly involved," said Juanita Garcia, city code commissioner. "There were lots of neighborhood members, community members involved in the plan."
But now Tractor is circulating a petition trying to get the rule amended.
"We'll do what we can to fight this, try to comply and get it amended and get people a home brew back to their house," Forster said.
KRQE News 13 talked to the owners of two other microbreweries in this area--Kelly's and II Vicino. Il Vicino sells growlers at their other location in the city. Both businesses say they'd be happy see this rule gone.
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